If you’ve never heard of RunThrough, there’s three things you need to know about them: 1) They’re a ruddy nice bunch, 2) They put on some exceptionally nice races and 3) They do some pretty awesome medals. Like seriously good ones. And this is coming from a bunch of people that have turned races down in the past on the basis that medals weren’t up to scratch.
We’ve been slacking with our running lately, it often happens in the summer. We drink more, we go to BBQs and when it’s hot we tend to opt for the gym. But with a marathon and an ultra coming up in September we needed to get back out there (yes, we know we haven’t got long).
This is the first time we’ve taken part in a RunThrough event so we expected nothing more than your average park 10k. You know the ones, a standard format that runs multiple times throughout the year. The same medal you’ve already got from eight other races. We do them all the time; they’re inexpensive, you know what you’re getting and the route is tried and tested. They’re an integral part of the London running community. No queuing, no commercialism, just timed running.
When we headed down to Battersea Park at 8.30am the sun was already beating down. We grumbled our way through the park, dreading the race. Yes a park on a sunny day is nice, but not when you have to run 10k through it. We told ourselves we’d take it easy. The heat has never been our friend (note. Hackney Half 2014).
We’ve ran down the embankment of Battersea Park on our way home for many years, but stupidly we’d never actually ran through it. Stupid because it’s a really nice park with loads of stuff in it we never even knew about. Aside from the normal park fair (you know, trees and whatnot), there’s a boating lake, a mini golf course, an athletics track and even a zoo. It may be a small park in comparison to some of the others dotted around London, but there’s a hell of a lot in it.
Anyway, enough about the park, you get the idea. The race course was a loop that takes you round the route multiple times, twice if you’re doing the 5k. Normally we don’t like a looped race, we get bored and it affects out time. However we didn’t mind this course, it was actually enjoyable with interesting things to look at. The trees at Battersea Park also make a sort of canopy around the paths which meant we avoided the sun for most of it.
As summer races go it was perfect. Spectators sat on the grass cheering everyone on as they made their way around. The marshals looked like they were enjoying themselves more than the runners, and organisation that set off the race was perfectly coordinated. Add to that a medal in the shape off the Battersea powestation and a homemade flapjack, you’ve got yourself a race well worth getting involved with.